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Guatemala: 2nd child dead in US custody had flu, infection

This Dec. 12, 2018 file photo provided by Catarina Gomez on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, shows her stepbrother Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, near her home in Yalambojoch, Guatemala. Guatemalan authorities said Monday, April 1, 2019, the 8-year-old boy in custody of the U.S. border patrol on Christmas Eve died of the flu and a bacterial infection. (Catarina Gomez via AP, File)

This Dec. 12, 2018 file photo provided by Catarina Gomez on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, shows her stepbrother Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, near her home in Yalambojoch, Guatemala. Guatemalan authorities said Monday, April 1, 2019, the 8-year-old boy in custody of the U.S. border patrol on Christmas Eve died of the flu and a bacterial infection. (Catarina Gomez via AP, File)

The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator said Monday that the report is still open and has not been finalized.

The office previously reported in a Dec. 27 statement that the boy tested positive for the flu based on swabs of the lungs and nasal passage, but that “determining an accurate cause of death requires further evaluation.”

Gomez and his 47-year-old father, Agustin Gomez, fled the poverty of their home village of Yalambojoch and crossed in the United States on Dec. 18 at El Paso, Texas. They were detained the same day.

The father has said that the boy was in good health when they were taken into custody. But days later he had flu symptoms and was brought to a hospital, where he died.

Gomez was the second Guatemalan migrant child to die in U.S. custody in December.

An autopsy released Friday on the other child, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, found that her death Dec. 8 was also due to bacterial infection.

That report found bacteria in her lungs, liver, spleen and adrenal glands and said she suffered a rapid, progressive infection that led to multiple organ failure.

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